The Comisana sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Italy. It is indigenous to central and northern Sicily, Italy. The breed is also known by some other names such as Faccia rossa, Lentinese, Red Head and Testa rossa. Name of the breed derives from the comune of Comiso, in the province of Ragusa.
Exact origins of the Comisana sheep are unknown. But it is a southern Mediterranean breed and mainly found in the provinces of Enna, Caltanissetta, and Palermo. But they are also available in some other Italian provinces and have also been exported to other Mediterranean countries. It was most probably originated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century from the Maltese and Sicilian sheep breeds.
The Comisana sheep is one of the 17 autochthonous Italian sheep breeds for which a genealogical herdbook is kept by the Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia. The Associazione Nazionale della Pastoriza is the Italian national association of sheep breeders. A herdbook for the breed was established in 1976. Total population of this breed were estimated at 350,000 in 1983, and among those animals around 64,500 were registered in the herdbook. And total numbers of these animals were recorded in the herdbook as 28,428. Read some more information about this breed below.
The Comisana sheep are medium to large sized animals. They are generally complete white in color, and their face is brick-red with white frontal stripe. They have semi-lop ears, and both rams and ewes are usually polled.
As a medium to large sized animal, average height of the mature ewes is around 70 cm at the withers, and around 80 cm for the rams. The mature Comisana rams on average weight around 80 kg. And average live body weight of the mature ewes is around 50 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Comisana sheep is actually a triple-purpose animal. But today it is raised mainly as a milk sheep breed in it’s native area for milk production.
The Comisana sheep is a very hardy and productive breed of domestic sheep. It is highly valued for it’s high milk production, which is processed on site for producing a variety of home-made high quality cheeses by following a tradition lasting thousands of years. Average milk production of the Comisana ewes is around 200 liters per lactation. Their milk is of pretty good quality containing around 6.5 percent fat and about 5.2 percent protein. The Comisana lambs are also pretty good for meat production. And the lambs are generally slaughtered at the the age of about 1 month when they reach between 9 and 10 kg. The Comisana sheep is also pretty good for wool production. The ewes on average produce around 1.3 kg of wool, and the rams about 2.5 kg. Their wool is of coarse quality and is suitable for mattresses. However, review full breed profile of the Comisana sheep in the chart below.
Comisana Sheep | Breed Profile
|Other Name||Also known by some other names such as Faccia rossa, Lentinese, Red Head and Testa rossa|
|Breed Purpose||Mainly milk|
|Special Notes||Very hardy and strong animals, well suited to almost all climates, productive, highly valued for high milk production, milk is of very good quality, lambs are pretty good for meat production, the breed is also pretty good for wool production|
|Weight||Vary from 50 to 80 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||Local climates|
|Country/Place of Origin||Italy|